"indecision may or may not be my problem."
i'm traveling for a while to a place where beer is cheaper than water and another one where the vegetables are really fresh.
what's next? 'i got syphilis' baseball caps?
unrelated: a blog entry here is #1 hit for 'MIT geeks'. strange.
a friend of a friend, yael berda, will be coming to cambridge tonight and i convinced her to give a short talk at m.i.t about political dissent and non-violence.
it's tomorrow at 4:30 in the media lab building (room 235), and i would love to see you there.
she's got quite a track record and you can read all about the details of the talk here.
added a favicon to my blog. since it's a png file, though, i think it won't work with internet explorer on windows.
three of the six application updates in today's os x 10.3.7 are improvements to make 'world of warcraft' more playable.
guess it's an important game.
at first it's embarassing, but once you let your ego drop a little, there's a lot of pride in being that random weird guy that makes people's christmas shopping walk or subway ride a little less ordinary.
The Band Aid Dilemma....
You want this record to succeed, because you feel for the plight of the refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan and this project is funding aid projects on their behalf. However, you hate this recording and feel your musical ego looming and refusing to be bruised.
lovely scans from and witty remarks on this japanese sex instruction book at harmful.org. warning (in case you couldn't guess): not all links from there are work-safe.
it does teach you how to hold hands, though, in multiple styles. and how to please a woman and a man. or, er, rather, a cardboard cutout of a woman and a test-tube. yeah.
arianna online with a detailed column listing the current state of iraq facts that you want to ignore if you're pro-war.
a good read with many links to lying politicians and homeless veterans.
Whats more, one of the companies that makes the protective plates for the Humvees used in Iraq said last week that it could easily have increased its output if only the Pentagon had asked. Remember how often on the campaign trail the president trotted out his sure-fire applause line, promising, Ill make sure our troops have the best. They deserve the best? Maybe he was referring to the quality of their funerals.
in all fairness, i should add several notes, though.
whether you think the war in iraq is great or it sucks, one thing is clear. it's not where the u.s thought it would be at this point.
it's also weird to me as an israeli to read about abandoned war-wounded, coming from a country that with all its shortcomings, at least tends to those who got harmed in war.
maybe it's the m.i.t crowd that's biased. but shouldn't the communist logo give it away? that's a far cry from the anime style of that other ddr.
today i found evidence from the internet that my interpretation is the more reasonable one, logo aside.
if you have a short name like me, you can also find out what your name stands for. hopefully something more exciting than "Air Guyane, French Guiana (ICAO code)".
from cambridge, massachusetts, this is w-swn procrastinating while supposedly studying for an exam.
apparently even some of my more up-to-date friends haven't heard of google suggest, so there. now you know.
remember, you heard it here first.
looking for a cheap ticket from germany to israel for my winter vacation, i'm also trying german 'billigflug' sites, who cater charter flights to the have-nots.
charter flights, for my american readers, are non-standard flights that are operated especially, but not only, around holiday season by just selling as many tickets as they can, and then - once they sold 300 tickets - using crummy planes and getting people to places without bothing so much about luxuries like drinks, clean seats or functioning toilets on board.
the funny thing, though, is the search forms on these sites.
first of all, they don't seem to really draw distinction between the various countries.
as anyone who has been to varadero or aya napa knows, they're all just 'holiday destinations' not real places. so under 'destination' you can choose between 'any' (i kid you not), 'near', 'midrange', 'far', and then more specifically, 'egypt-israel-u.a.e', 'asia-thailand', (and don't try to be funny about that), 'mediterranean', etc.
or - as my friend yariv noted, they could have just as well said 'places with camels'.
and, on the search results, there's not only the price, but also the forecast water temperature at your destination.
so far, no cheap ticket to cairo-tel aviv-abu dhabi for me yet. but thanks for asking.
added dogville to the film list
still haven't decided if i hated it or loved it, but since i am pretty sure that i hate most movies, this one gets the benefit of the doubt.
newfound anti-religion blog, the rude pundit ("proudly lowering the level of political discourse") has catapulted itself to my tiny blogroll, thanks - among others - to quotes like this:
Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Be Sodomized With a Menorah:
You know, when Bill O'Reilly, Fox "News" broadcaster and a man for whom one falafel in the hand is worth two in the bush, told one of his radio callers, in essence, "If you don't like Christmas, Jewey McKikenose, then maybe you oughta head to Israel and spin your dreidel in the sand," the Rude Pundit wondered what O'Reilly would tell, say, an atheist who finds the whole let's-give-Jesus-a-helluva-bris treatment a bit over the top. Would he tell the Hindu guy down the street to head back to India? Would he tell the Buddhist woman at the local Super Shanghai Buffet to get back to Mongolia? Would he tell the atheist to go to the moon? Where would that atheist, that Buddhist, that Hindi be safe from the marauding Christ lovers in the mall with their multi-colored light nativities a-twinklin' on their lawns? All the poor self-proclaimed Jew on the phone with O'Reilly said was that, as a Jew, he felt pressured by the Christapalooza of Christmas, which really only is a guilt trip distraction from the passion of the shopping. And, you know, the whole deal only became a holiday in 1876 because of pressure from businesses benefiting from the growing orgy of tree decorating and goose-killing.
When O'Reilly declared that "overwhelmingly, America is Christian. And the holiday is a federal holiday honoring the philosopher Jesus," all the Rude Pundit could wonder is where the fuck's Plato's holiday? Or Kierkegaard's? Or perhaps John Locke's, considering his influence on, say, the actual creation of the country?
never got around to praise the amazing talk by negativland member mark holser enough.
this won't change now, and i'll just say that he's a great speaker and performer and you should check him out if he comes to your area.
instead, here's a preview of their new project 'no business'. according to the distinguished mr. holser, 100% stolen material.
walking by the store (if i were an american i would say 'walking by the cvs', but that's a topic for another entry), i really wanted a granola bar, but was late, so i didn't get one.
at the entry to the subway, a friendly dude offered me a free granola bar, which i gladly accepted. with it came a little note:
yes...it really is free!
we hope this small gift brings some light into your day. it's a simple way of saying that god loves you--no strings attached. let us know if we can be of more assistance.
for my readers who come from countries where churches don't put out ads, this granola bar was an ad for a church.
but to me it was much more. it was a sign from god answering my prayers.
now i just wish that god would find such direct ways of telling me he loves me regarding some other thoughts i had. an ipod comes to mind.
bought something on amazon from a 3rd party retailer. the next day i got a message that my credit card information was wrong, and the order was canceled. i was already surprised that they didn't just ask me to fix the information, which btw hasn't changed since my last successful amazon orders.
instead they had me re-order the item. but lo and behold, the item is no longer available from the retailer i chose.
is that a new trick amazon employs to get out of being responsible for their site not being up-to-date with out-of-stock items?
i asked them, and will keep you posted.
a web exclusive: the top 10 emailed stories from cnn.com.
honestly, they really do reveal a sad state of the union in a year that brought us a major overseas war and a presidential election.
and someone is obsessed with dogs.
five: frequent sex cuts cancer risk
and the most e-mailed story by cnn.com readers:
just went to froogle and was somewhat disturbed to see a little line on the top of the page saying:
| My Shopping List | Sign out
now they can also tell what i'm shopping for? and maybe what kind of emails i write before deciding to shop for an ipod? and maybe, just maybe, target ipod ads to people who write similar emails?
they didn't use to have advertisements on the back of gas pumps when i was a kid.
Do you know your Dada from your Moma? Try the quiz and see.
Everyone has got their opinions, but they won't help you here! For the purposes of this quiz, "art" is something that has been exhibited as such by an artist.
i was invited by the commonwealth of massachusetts to perform my duty as an american citizen and serve on a trial jury.
naturally, i'm not allowed to do that, since i'm not actually an american citizen. i just need to fill out the right circle, telling them that i'm not, and send it back.
don't they have a way to tell who's a citizen and who's not other than asking the person? isn't that like an interesting statistic about people that the government would want to save on some computer file?
it seems odd (but not surprising) that the most powerful fingerprinting and photographing superpower doesn't even know which residents are citizens and which aren't.
that's right, using actual frog muscle tissue activated by a microcontroller and a battery, swimming in a nutrient solution and driving a little swimming robot. half robot half frog.
Shortly before harvesting the muscles, two fresh liters of amphibian ringer solution were prepared according to a protocol specifically designed for frog organ culture. [...] A broad-spectrum, antibiotic/antimycotic was added out of necessity for long-term maintenance of the muscles, ex vivo. We observed, for periods greater than 24 hours, septic degradation of the muscle specimens in the absence of the antibiotic/antimycotic agents. After each muscle was placed within a Petri dish, a small volume of ringer solution was used to surround each muscle, the balance being used in the test tank for the swimming robot evaluations. The total amount of time between muscle removal from the animal to finalizing the muscle installation into the robotic swimmer was approximately 1 hour.
Muscle installation was carried out with the robotic platform partially immersed in ringer solution using #5 forceps (Fine Science Tools). After installation was complete, the muscles were allowed to acclimate for a period of approximately 5 minutes before stimulation.
After swimming the full length of the test tank, the robot was manually repositioned to the opposite end of the tank where it began, once again, to swim across the tank width. Typically, a period of swimming activity (~3 min) was followed by a period of swimming inactivity (~30 min). Due to muscle fatigue, periods of inactivity were required to restore the robot's peak swimming velocity to at least 75% of its maximum value measured during the first session of robotic swimming (first 10 minutes of the robot's lifespan).
it's a good read with few prerequisites.
last night i was wondering why it's politically correct to write that you're only looking for a jewish mate. is it also ok to write that you're only looking for a non-jewish mate, or would that be considered antisemitic?
the gap between science and truth is in the footnotes.
a dear friend forwarded me one of those new age cutesy stories with a moral over email.
i'll spare you the details, most of which you can recover from the following quote
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You just have to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
which was then followed by the below signature
This e-mail message and any attachments thereto contains privileged and confidential information intended for a specific addressee and purpose only. If you are not the addressee or have received the message in error you may not use, disclose, copy, distribute or take action based on the contents thereof and should kindly inform the sender immediately and destroy all copies thereof. The opinions or views expressed or implied in the message ( and its attachments ) are those of the sender and do not constitute the opinion or view of the company or of its management unless it is clearly stated to be the case. This e-mail message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses. The company does not, however, guarantee that the message is free of computer viruses and accepts no responsibility or liability in this regard.
but seriously, i think that the combination of the two parts of this email draw a surprisingly accurate picture of the state of email communication today.
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content here by guy hoffman .. as seen times since march 2004